Teaching best practices in research data management

contribution by: Emiel van Loon

There is currently a considerable attention for research data storage and curation in science, as well as openness about this data and the scientific process itself. This attention is focused mainly on scientists rather than (under)graduate students who are still learning about scientific practices. However, we think it is wise to shift this focus, because a change in attitude is required whereby an attitude to take care of quality and long term preservation become a second nature rather than an additional task at the end of a project. We expect that by teaching the right data skills and good data management practices early in the curriculum, we can bring about better data management and curation in the next generation of scientists.

This project aims at building educational material to help teach the most important concepts and skills in the undergraduate curriculum of several BSc science programmes at the University of Amsterdam.

The material is being used in the Future Planet Studies BSc curriculum from 2016 onwards. At the same time, the material is open-source and meant to be picked-up and extended by the teams teaching academics-skills in various BSc and MSc curricula at UvA.

By the end of 2015 four practical data collection and management and exercises have been created, as well as an instruction for students to present and maintain this material on github. The material is available at https://github.com/UvARDM

The work on this project will continue during 2016 with the addition of more assignments some video-lectures and the first results from the data-collection and management practicals.

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